Nov. 9, 2011
ATHENS ---- University of Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox announced on Wednesday the signing of three in-state high school seniors to national letters-of-intent to attend UGA and play next season for the Bulldogs: Kenny Gaines, a 6-4 guard from Atlanta; Charles Mann, a 6-6 guard from Alpharetta; and Brandon Morris, a 6-8 forward from Lithonia.
Gaines, at 6-4 and 190 pounds, is currently beginning his senior season at Whitefield Academy in Smyrna. As a junior last season he averaged 20.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists in leading the Wolfpack to a 23-4 overall record. Whitefield Academy reached the Georgia Class A Final Four last season after reaching the state championship game in Gaines' sophomore year.
He is rated as the nation's No. 20 shooting guard prospect by Scout.com and the #24 shooting guard by Rivals.com. ''Kenny is a very athletic scoring guard who has tremendous quickness and a very exciting presence about him on the court," Fox said. "We are very happy to have him join us next season.''
Mann, at 6-6 and 190 pounds, is starting his senior season at AAAAA power Milton High School in Alpharetta. Through the 2011 season, he had played at Union Grove High School in McDonough, where he averaged over 22 points, 6.8 rebounds and 7.1 assists per contest as a junior. There he won All-Region, All-County and Honorable Mention All-State honors, as well as MVP of the Region, as voted by all of its head coaches.
''Charles is a big point guard, first of all," Fox said. "He has a great feel for the game and a natural instinct to pass the basketball. He's going to be a terrific player for us.''
Morris, regarded as a "combo" forward at 6-8, 195 pounds, is currently a senior at Miller Grove High School in Lithonia. One of the top prep programs in Georgia, the Wolverines have won the past three Georgia Class AAAA state titles, going a combined 88-10 over those three seasons.
As a junior last season, Morris averaged 11.2 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. He was named to the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association (GACA) junior All-Star North team at season's end, along with Mann.
''Brandon is a very long, versatile forward," Fox said. "He has a great competitive spirit about him and I believe he will help us in many, many ways.''
The early national signing period for basketball begins today and concludes next Wednesday, Nov. 16.